How to customise models

This How-to describes how to replace Oscar models with your own. This allows you to add fields and custom methods. It builds upon the steps described in Customising Oscar. Please read it first and ensure that you’ve:

  • Created a Python module with the the same app label
  • Added it as Django app to INSTALLED_APPS
  • Added a and


Suppose you want to add a video_url field to the core product model. This means that you want your application to use a subclass of oscar.apps.catalogue.abstract_models.AbstractProduct which has an additional field.

The first step is to create a local version of the “catalogue” app. At a minimum, this involves creating catalogue/ within your project and changing INSTALLED_APPS to point to your local version rather than Oscar’s.

Next, you can modify the Product model through subclassing:

# yourproject/catalogue/

from django.db import models

from oscar.apps.catalogue.abstract_models import AbstractProduct

class Product(AbstractProduct):
    video_url = models.URLField()

from oscar.apps.catalogue.models import *

Make sure to import the remaining Oscar models at the bottom of your file.


Using from ... import * is strange isn’t it? Yes it is, but it needs to be done at the bottom of the module due to the way Django registers models. The order that model classes are imported makes a difference, with only the first one for a given class name being registered.

The last thing you need to do now is make Django update the database schema and create a new column in the product table. We recommend using migrations for this (internally Oscar already does this) so all you need to do is create a new schema migration.

It is possible to simply create a new catalogue migration (using ./ makemigrations catalogue) but this isn’t recommended as any dependencies between migrations will need to be applied manually (by adding a dependencies attribute to the migration class).

The recommended way to handle migrations is to copy the migrations directory from oscar/apps/catalogue into your new catalogue app. Then you can create a new (additional) migration using the makemigrations management command:

./ makemigrations catalogue

which will pick up any customisations to the product model.

To apply the migration you just created, all you have to do is run ./ migrate catalogue and the new column is added to the product table in the database.

Customising Products

You should inherit from AbstractProduct as above to alter behaviour for all your products. Further subclassing is not recommended, because using methods and attributes of concrete subclasses of Product are not available unless explicitly casted to that class. To model different classes of products, use ProductClass and ProductAttribute instead.

Model customisations are not picked up

It’s a common problem that you’re trying to customise one of Oscar’s models, but your new fields don’t seem to get picked up. That is usually caused by Oscar’s models being imported before your customised ones. Django’s model registration disregards all further model declarations.

In your overriding, ensure that you import Oscar’s models after your custom ones have been defined. If that doesn’t help, you have an import from oscar.apps.*.models somewhere that is being executed before your models are parsed. One trick for finding that import: put assert False in the relevant Oscar’s, and the stack trace will show you the importing module.

If other modules need to import your models, then import from your local module, not from Oscar directly.